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Court spells out Canadian jurisdiction on foreign law suits

Published by Steve Coleman on April 18, 2012

The Supreme Court of Canada has laid out how foreign companies with Canadian connections can be sued either in Canada or abroad.

Justices spelled out April 18 the circumstances that Canadian courts can take jurisdiction over foreign defendants.

"The decision provides much needed guidance in a complex area of law and clarifies the circumstances in which foreign companies can be exposed to Canadian lawsuits," said Ira Nishisato, National Leader of the Commercial Litigation Group at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in a news release regarding the case. "It also provides Canadians with a clearer sense of when they can start legal proceedings in Canada against foreigners for incidents that occurred here or abroad."

The Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda case started with an injury sustained by Van Breda while staying at a resort operated by Club Resorts Ltd. in Cuba. Van Breda commenced an action in Ontario against Club Resorts Ltd., along with several other defendants, for damages related to her injury.

Club Resorts sought to block the proceeding, arguing that the Ontario courts lacked jurisdiction and that a Cuban court would be a more appropriate location. The motion judge held that Ontario should assume jurisdiction. The decision was upheld by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

For more information, see the following link.


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